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- Out Run -




Out Run by Maddog

Ahhhh,the breeze in your hair,the smell of burnin' rubber,a beautiful blonde by your side,an open-top Ferrari all yours and open roads before you...I bet this can be anybody's idea of heaven! Well,OutRun gives you all these and even more,so read on.
This game is the big granddaddy of all racing games.Actually, it's the first great racing game I can remember.Sure,there were others before it,but none of them was even close to the experience this one gave back in 1986-87.It had everything:Great graphics and sound,very fast and addictive gameplay,a steering wheel,pedals and a gear lever and even a vibrating seat:When you crashed or went off road,it rocked and vibrated you,adding so much more to the whole experience of playing it.Tons of coins were invested in this game and in my opinion it was well worth it!
The whole idea behing this game is very simple,just as in all driving games.You just have to put the pedal to the metal and drive as fast as you can through a variety of twisting and turning levels, avoiding the traffic and not letting the timer run out on you.Only top of the line drivers can get through this baby!
But,while the idea is very common,it's the execution that makes the BIG difference.For its' era it had some of the greatest (and fastest scrolling...) graphics anyone could find around.The attention to detail was exceptional also:Just see the little red lights on the back of your Ferrari glow when you press the brakes (not that you break much in this game...),the girl nagging to you when you crash,the various other cars on the road (Beetles,Porsches,Trucks etc.),hair waving in the wind and so on.Sound is exceptional too,screeching tyres,engine hum,the most dreaded crash sound ever and a choice between three different background musics to listen to.It also has fifteen different and very challenging tracks to drive on,each with its' own unique graphics and layout.They have all kinds of tricky turns for you to master.Additionally,the road is not going just left and right,but has many ups and downs as well,this particular effect being very smooth,too!You always start on the same track,but at the end of it there are two different ones awaiting you,depending on whether you take a left or a right turn, just like the branches of a tree.All these lead to five possible different endings,depending on the track you take last,but I won't spoil it for you,by telling what happens at the end.Play the game and see for yourself!
I can only see a couple of shortcomings for this game. Essentialy,once you master it,learn all the curves by heart and see all the possible tracks and endings,there is not much left to it.This is bound to happen sooner or later,so probably you won't stick to it for a very long time,Also,beginners and non-hardcore arcaders will find out that they lose fast and they will just see the first couple of tracks again and again,which is frustrating at least.Most of the games potential lies within the later tracks,which is a pity for those who can't see them...
To sum it all up,anyone who likes driving games,has lightning-fast reflexes and doesn't get dizzy easily should give this one a try.You'll probably get hooked before you know it!
Currently OutRun is emulated by the great System 16 emulator. The latest version of it (0.80) offers a very accurate emulation of the game,including full sound support.One "slight" problem is that due to the speed and complexity of the original game,you need a powerful computer to play it at full FPS and with the sound intact.Don't expect anything like this on slower machines like,say a P-100/133.On the other hand,all P-II's and fast Pentiums will play it like a dream,so maybe you should start considering an upgrade ;) .I only miss the vibrating seat and steering wheel,but I think it would be too greedy to ask for that,too.Be thankful that everything else is there!There are also conversions for many other platforms like the Sega Genesis,the Amiga, Commodore 64 and many more.None of them come even close to the originals' perfection,but they are interesting nonetheless.
Now,if you excuse me,I have a little red Ferrari waiting for me.See you on the road!
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